My property mgmt. co. does not feel they are responsible for personal belongings damaged due to H20 pipes bursting w/in ceiling.

Asked over 1 year ago - Houston, TX

Last Thursday @3:30 AM, lg. water pipe leaked causing ceiling to cave in within Living Room (& on my dog!) Called emerg tel #- arrived 2 hours later to turn off leak. Later that AM, Maint Supvr came-insulation, pcs of ceiling & water everywhere:furniture, lg. screen TV, electronics etc. I asked what was cause- HIS WORDS: "Water pipes are 40 yrs old. Neighbor has been thru this 7-8 x's. Since they are aware, why don't they repair problem: he said it is too costly.They wait for ea. incident, repairing it one @ a time. Mgr called me to ask I move personal belongings-not their responsibility. Quite upset, I told her what supervisor had said- she agreed and added she cannot promise this will be the last time! Aren't they liable to replace my belongings? Imagine someone is injured!

Additional information

Maint Supv’r, an expert in plumbing repairs, stated tenant (next-store) exper'd exact problem, 7-8 x's-proof they ID’d the problem? Due to expense to modernize plumbing make conscious decision to do nothing! On 2 occasions I've had leaking in my unit, less severe-I was told it was REPAIRED. The Mgr., called me day after recent episode & confirmed NO promise it will be last time! Are they responsible for providing safe/sanitary environment? Are they a rent collecting machine? They admit to handling a widespread problem individually to avoid hefty overhead of repairs. Are they not responsible for reimbursing my items damaged by their antiquated pipes? What provision in my lease states we as residents, shoulder the burden by living thru ea frightening/unsanitary episode, to avoid mgmt from having extensive repairs. Interestingly, I decided to continue on a mo.-to-mo. tenancy several mos’ ago -in turn my rent raised 16%... Thank you sincerely 4 ur time & consideration.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Kevin Matthew Koel

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . This is what renter's insurance is for, in case there is damage that is your fault or that the landlord is not obligated to pay. If you have insurance, contact them to at least report the incident, you may ultimately make the claim directly on the landlord's insurance. And speaking of your landlord's insurance, ask for his insurance information.
    As for ultimate responsibility, a lot will depend on the terms of your lease, and the foreseeability of the damage by both you and the landlord. If a lot of a value was lost, you may want to contact a personal injury/insurance attorney to discuss your options.

    If this response was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. The response provided herein is for... more
  2. Brandy Ann Peeples

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

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    Answered . There's no guarantee that a pipe will or won't burst as a result of its age. Just because the pipes are old, doesn't mean that they're faulty or about to burst. Maybe your landlord would be liable for damages if it could be demonstrated that he was negligent in ignoring a pipe in imminent danger of bursting.

    Renter's insurance is designed to protect personal items in events such as these. If your renter's insurance company feels the landlord is at fault..then presumably your insurer will take appropriate legal action.

    DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided... more
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